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The Importance of a Live Show – Cypress Hill is the Greatest

Working in the music industry has its perks, no doubt about it, but let’s be very clear—it’s a ton of work.

While most folks get to clock out at 5pm and leave the worries of the day at the office, it’s quite different in the music industry. Maybe because the field is so competitive and hustle driven. You gotta stay on top of shit and it’s very much “what have you done for me lately.”

I guess it’s the same for artists, right? I mean, you can come out with a platinum debut, but if you drop a couple of duds it’s basically a wrap and fans are like, What have you done for me lately?

This isn’t a problem that L.A. rap group Cypress Hill has. After debuting in 1991 with their two-times platinum self-titled debut, the Stoned Raiders went on to release their three million-plus seller, Black Sunday, and eventually sell millions of albums over the course of five more releases.

I’ve seen Cypress live tons of times before at outdoor music festivals like Rock The Bells and they never disappoint. Actually they have one of the best live shows out of any hip-hop act out, so it was interesting when they touched down in New York’s S.O.B’s last night. The setting was a more intimate one, but the result was basically the same.

As the four-man group, which consists of B-Real, Sen Dog, Eric Bobo and collaborative DJ Julio G, ran through classics like “How I Could Just Kill A Man,” “Insane In The Membrane,” “I Wanna Get High” and “Illusions” the crowd smoked up and went into a frenzy for the tunes. Granted, Cypress Hill’s cult fan base isn’t the typical rap set that would stan out for guys like Gucci Mane, or even Jay-Z to an extent, but you have to give credit where it’s due—these guys have a hell of a catalogue and a spirited live show to support it. I’m really looking forward to hearing the new album Rise Up—can’t front, Jim Jonsin flipped the hell out of that Crosby, Stills and Nash sample on the new single “Armada Latina.” Plus, with production by Pete Rock, DJ Khalil and Jake One, you gotta figure it’s gonna be dope.

I was also equally excited when the group’s percussionist Eric Bobo linked up with Beat Junkies DJ Rhettmatic last summer in Central Park. Their performance plays like a battle between the DJ and the drummer (actually Bobo is more known for his skills as a congero, but he drums also). The duo released a mixtape this past February called Bobo Meets Rhettmatic and if you’re into the musicality of hip-hop (because, let’s face it, lyrics are only one part), then I suggest you check it out. You can download here.

Now I stopped smoking weed a while ago, mainly because I’m just constantly working. Weed actually helps some folks focus better, but it has the reverse affect on me and I only roll up on occasion these days. But after seeing Cypress Hill rock last night, I can’t wait to go home and start my weekend off right and puff a J. —Rob Markman, The Deputy

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